Winds approaching gale-force speeds lashed Whanganui over the weekend with 60km/h winds recorded at the airport and gust speeds of up to 85km/h as autumn weather hit the city.

Meteorologist Tahlia Crabtree said a low-pressure system had been driving the strong southerly winds.

"The winds have been disruptive and loud across the central North Island after being squeezed through Cook Strait," she said.

"They have eased off now and the Whanganui region can expect milder temperatures, a few showers and light winds during the next few days."

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The forecast temperatures for the next five days range from lows of 9C to highs of 22C throughout the coming week with occasional light showers.

MetService's gardening advice suggests that autumn, with its cooling air temperatures, is the perfect time to prepare the winter garden in order to enjoy a variety of fruit, vegetables, and flowers through the winter months.

Sunrise is estimated to occur around 7.31am each day and sunset at 7.18pm until early next Sunday, April 5, when clocks will go back an hour as daylight saving ends.